Director – A.B. Zax – 2022 – US – Cert. PG – 86m
A small town US bookstore and its enthusiastic, bookworm owner are seen in good times and bad, bad being the global pandemic when it’s just getting by, profits plunge and the business is threatened with closure – out in UK cinemas and on demand on Friday, June 30th
Shot in a mixture of colour and black and white, this documentary about a bookstore (or bookshop, as we call them in the UK) in Lenox, Massachusetts – called, quite literally, The Bookstore – and its owner of 40 years Matt Tannenbaum opens with a short sequence in black and white showing the premises under pandemic lockdown, making this film an addition to that small but welcome group of movies that don’t pretend the pandemic never happened.
The genial Tannenbaum has to explain to callers that he’s not letting anyone in, “not for browsing, just for kerbside” and has lengthy conversations on the phone. He admits a masked delivery man with the latest shipment of books, but that’s all. “It’s so hard, it’s so boring, it’s so different,” he says. Clearly he prefers non-pandemic times, when people come into the store, and he can talk to them, find out what they like, and supply books suitable for their tastes.… Read the rest